Pattaya Daily News

30 October 2009 :: 22:10:23 pm 1826

Brit Accused of Attempted Murder Part 2

The background information: Barry Parkinson was temporarily imprisoned after a street confrontation between himself (a retired British businessman and avid Olympic yachtsman) and an individual he believed to be his neighbour. It later turned out that the individual in question was actually a plain-clothed police major. Following his arrest Barry was subsequently charged with attempted murder of a Thai police major, and so the story continues.
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The Police Station

Barry was taken from his house by 30 police officers and handcuffed to the back of a pickup to be taken first to a local Siracha police box and then on to the main police station, where he was thrown in a cell for 2 nights with about 12-14 others. The cell’s inmates could not move, didn’t have enough room to sleep, and had one toilet in the room with a pile of rubbish in the corner. Initially, Barry was held in the prison cell at the police station for three hours without being told what his offence was. At this stage, he was expecting to be questioned by the police to give his side of the incident; this never happened.

The first night he wasn’t even informed what the charges might be. The next however he was informed that he was to be charged with the attempted murder of the police officer. He asked his wife to get him some writing paper so he could write a 3 page statement pleading not guilty to this charge if it was forthcoming. He was also asked to sign a statement in Thai, which had no English translation; a fact that Barry was careful to indicate at the bottom of the document, along with his signature.

Due to the language barrier encountered by Barry in his dealings with the Thai police, his wife Bee thought to have his statement translated into Thai along with the apology letter to the Major. The prosecutor was able to read both articles prior to the arraignment on the 27th of July.

Barry subsequently pleaded not guilty in front of the magistrate with his lawyer in attendance.

After one night and two days in custody, Barry was released on Bt300,000 bail, having spent Sunday night, Monday, Tuesday and most of Wednesday in custody before his release at 6pm.

All in all, Barry has been held in Thailand since January 30 ’09 until the present with his passport revoked for nine months just because a police officer charged Barry with attempting to murder him, when he should actually have been charged with making an attempted attack on the police officer’s friend, Barry’s neighbour.

The Lawyers

Following his spell custody, Barry went to Barry Kenyon, the British Consular Representative, to ask his advice and to obtain a list of lawyers to represent him at his trial on October 21/22. Unfortunately, the legal firm that was recommended proved unsatisfactory. Searching round for others, Barry was quoted Bt 2 million to defend him by one leading, but particularly avaricious Law firm in Bangkok. Barry interviewed another couple of lawyers, but he wasn’t really satisfied with them. However, PDN managed to put him in touch with a lawyer who regularly works with PDN Volunteer interpreters on many cases and whose rates are very reasonable by any standards. Barry subsequently interviewed him and he felt more comfortable and relaxed with him so he chose this new lawyer put forth by PDN to represent him in all court proceedings thereafter. However, he was not the one who had represented Barry at his arraignment, on July 27,2009, the description of which follows.

The First Court Appearance: the Arraignment

The Police Evidence

Barry found that the police evidence bore little relationship to the true facts as he had experienced them, being somewhat distorted, incomplete, and making it overwhelming look as if he was a crazed killer. Here are some the points of significant disagreement between Barry’s account and that of the police.

1. Barry is accused of having “dared to attack” the police major by throwing a glass at him, which Barry denies. He only found out later that he had hit the man on the wrist. The police description of his wounds also appear to be exaggerated.

2. The police evidence neglects to mention the events which provoked the glass-throwing incident and the subsequent supposed knife attack, which can be found in PDN’s first story.

3. The next police statement asserts that Barry “dared to use a sharp knife weapon … (with) an intention to kill the injured person” i.e. the police major. The police statement neglects to mention that the knife was, in fact, made of plastic. Barry insists he only returned to the house to get the plastic knife to use as a deterrent in self-defence as he felt threatened, assuming there might well be considerably more people in the house who might have emerged to back up the first individual.

4. The police statement also makes no mention of the presence of the other person in the scenario, namely the neighbour, who came onto the road after the glass-throwing incident and Barry‘s subsequent return into the street to pick up what he expected to be broken glass from the one glass he threw. Barry vehemently asserts that it was only because he felt threatened by the two individuals that he drew the plastic knife to use as a deterrent when he mistook the neighbour’s hand raising gesture for an imminent attack. It is also significant that there is no record of any corroborating evidence from the neighbour.

5. The police statement alleges that Barry “stabbed at the area of the abdomen” of the police major, which he supposedly deflected with his hand. Barry insists that when he drew the knife to deter an attack from the neighbour and raised it above his head, he was at least 6 feet away from both the police major and the neighbour and made no thrusting movements. The police major, at this point, ran away, so could no way have been under threat, let alone suffered a potentially lethal thrust to the abdomen. Furthermore, even if he had been under threat and had deflected the thrust as the police statement alleges, how effective would that have been when he was holding a glass in one hand and his mobile phone in the other?

Possibility of A Fair Trial

Barry happened to ask the Crown Prosecutor, who was present at court on 27 July, if he could expect a fair trial in a Thai court on October 21/22 as he hadn’t been asked to give his account to the police. The Crown Prosecutor replied that ‘yes’, he could expect a fair trial and that not giving evidence to the police was normal in Thai courts, where the judge listens to verbal evidence and makes his judgement accordingly; Barry wasn’t certain that there would be a translator present, however.

Conclusions

THE CHARGE IS INCORRECT in Barry’s opinion. He thinks the charge should have been an attempted attack on the neighbour, not on the policeman.

The facts are:

· Barry didn’t actually attack anyone.
· He caused no actual bodily harm during the incident.
· He staunchly denies the charge that he intended to kill anyone.
· He has no criminal record, certainly nothing like GBH, fighting or murder.
· Irritation at loud music is hardly an adequate motive to kill.
· His only crime was to vaguely wave a plastic knife, albeit realistic-looking, at the neighbour in what he believed and continues to believe was self-defence.
· He swears he is innocent of the charge of ‘Attempted Murder’.
The Questions Left Unanswered Are:

Why has the neighbour not been charged with ‘disturbing the peace’?
Why did the neighbour not feature at all in the police evidence?
Why did the policeman hide his identity and never attempt to help resolve the situation, but continued to aggravate the situation instead of providing mediation over a verbal dispute between neighbours?

We will bring you further updates as we recieve them.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : DCman   Category : Stories

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